By Kasey Schiedeck | Images property of Touchstone Pictures
I couldnít figure out why I didnít particularly like Casanova until the end of the movie. I have decided that the flaw is simpleówhile channeling silly insouciance, screen writer and story developer Kimberly Simi and screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher leave us unflattered with an awkward jumble of plotlines so cleanly executed that the thrill of a single shred of mystery is unheard of. If the film did not masquerade as anything but a playful romance it would have served us well. Some say itís a satire of sorts that intends to be taken lightly. That I would agree with but without consistency, I simply donít buy it.
Casanova Movie Review
The title character is the famed ladiesí man based on the real Giacomo Casanova (Heath Ledger), a self-purported adventurer and womanizer in 18th century Venice. The film version views him mostly as an unemployed skirt chaser with a charm so pervasive it even permeates the nunnery. Threatened with a death sentence for debauchery, Casanova seeks a wife and soon is engaged to a highfalutin virgin of noble social standing. It seems he has yet to experience true love until he meets Francesca Bruni (Sienna Miller) and falls for her intellectual gall and transparent personality. Francesca is engaged to a wealthy cousin of sizeable physical appearance to her dismay while her brother longs for the virgin Casanova is set to tarnish. Also included are a number of impossible mix-ups that allow Casanova time to woo a distant Francesca. I cannot comprehend that no one actually knows what Casanova looks like despite his sizeable popularity but at least they added a touch of obscurity.
Heath Ledger is Casanova
By the end of the film, each piece of the puzzle is fitted together a little too nicely. My guess is the filmmakers wanted to ensure a proper understanding that leaves the audience little freedom for personal consideration.
Regarded as a sentimental Oscar favorite and trumpeted by the overzealous Oscar hounds of distributor Miramax for nearly a decade after Chocolate, The Cider House Rules, and The Shipping News, Hallstrom has yet to score a critically and commercially favored film in quite some time. Despite a viable attempt and decent exposure at the Venice Film Festival, Casanova is certainly not the vehicle to do so.
Directed By Lasse Hallstrom
Screenplay By Kimberly Simi and Jeffrey Hatcher
Based on the story by Kimberly Simi and Michael Cristofer
Casanova: Heath Ledger
Francesca: Sienna Miller
Pucci: Jeremy Irons
Paprizzio: Oliver Platt
Andrea: Lena Olin
Lupo: Omid Djalili